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Old September 17, 2019   #1
AlittleSalt
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Default What to do with those tomatoes?

For all of you who grow tomatoes to sell or can/sauce - this thread probably has no meaning or purpose.

For us who grow tomatoes as a hobby, eventually you need to figure out who or where to give away some of those tomatoes you've grown. (Any vegetable that you have grown too much of.) There are so many options depending on where you live. Relatives, neighbors, friends are a possibility, but they can make you feel like you are imposing and irritating at the same time. I'm sure that some of you have felt that way at times.

A few years ago, a lot of my family and long-time friends were still alive, and giving them tomatoes and garden vegetables was a good thing. One year, a lady that my wife worked with refused to accept a gift of about 25 tomato plants that I started from seed. She wouldn't accept them without paying for them. Eventually, my wife, talked me into accepting $20 or somewhere near that. I did it because they wanted it that way. I wanted to give them away.

Later, I found out that some of those plants were given to my friend, "Strawberry" a (Red headed guy). He was one of my first friends I met when I was less than 5 years old. He was at least 10-15 years older than me. His lifelong fascination was rebuilding old cars to the point of making a decades old business of it - he was very well-known. The tomato plants he got from me indirectly were, "Dancing with Smurfs, Helsing Junction Blue, and Rebel Yell". Rebel Yell might be one of - if not the best tasting pink varieties, but he was more impressed with the blue cherry tomatoes. He died that year. (I think it was 2017 or 16)

I should have asked Tom Wagner if I could buy some Dancing with Smurfs and Helsing Junction Blue seeds. It means something to me.
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Old September 17, 2019   #2
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In the beginning of the season I had my wife running bags to the neighbors, they seemed fine with it.
I tell a few close neighbors that I put tomatoes on the bar in the backyard and come grab them if they want them.
I tell my neighbor and her daughter that anything that grows on their side that they can reach feel free to pick (we have adjoining yards). So far they have had a great harvest with tomatoes, cucumbers and butternut squash.



Not tomatoes but I have herbs in the front yard(s) that are marked and tell the neighbors to grab some herbs if they want any.
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Old September 17, 2019   #3
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I imagine I will find in a month that I have more plants than I have space to put out, and will probably ask my friend circle if anyone wants 8-week tomato plants. I planted a few extra of the microdwarfs and plan to gift a friend with a pretty planter of them. If I still have extra, I may post on NextDoor, maybe a way to get to know a few of my new neighbors. There's a community garden in a county park not far away, I could stroll up there on a Saturday and scope it out too.

I wonder, in general if people aren't "tomato enthusiasts" do they prefer simple red round tomatoes rather than the blues, purples, etc?
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Old September 17, 2019   #4
Nan_PA_6b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilroyscarnival View Post
I wonder, in general if people aren't "tomato enthusiasts" do they prefer simple red round tomatoes rather than the blues, purples, etc?

Depends on the person. My sister won't eat "wrong-colored tomatoes."


I've given away extra tomato plants at church and food bank. Extra tomatoes have gone to neighbors, people at church, food bank, and I always volunteer to bring an assortment of cherry tomatoes to every gathering in summer.
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Old September 17, 2019   #5
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I do lots of different things with extra tomatoes. I take them to the American Legion and pass them out, also the local Fire Station and there is also the Mail Men,the Doctor office when we go and of course our Vets office. Extra plants usually along the same way. This year it was over 100 plants.
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Old September 17, 2019   #6
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The homeless???
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Old September 17, 2019   #7
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Most of the homeless in my area, scoff at food hand-outs because it doesn't get them liquor, sad but true.
When working in the city I would handoff cigarettes and food to some of the familiar homeless folks I never gave them cash, only food.
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Old September 17, 2019   #8
Spike2
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I had nothing this year but I share with neighbors and take extras to our local Mission.
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Old September 18, 2019   #9
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Two of the places I shared tomatoes at might surprise you a little. I shared them at my doctors offices. My Primary Care doctor most likely shared the tomatoes with his staff. They were on a healthy food diet together, so that's what I'm thinking.

The other doctor was my psychologist. Yes, I saw a psychologist for around 13 years. I first started seeing her because of the nerve diseases and surgeries. The surgeons, doctors, and the TRC (Texas Rehabilitation Commission) all asked me to go see this psychologist because the nerve disease I was first diagnosed with is one of the most painful ones https://rsds.org/telltale-signs-and-...ms-of-crpsrsd/ Can you imagine wearing clothes hurting you? The secondary nerve disease is Fibromyalgia. Now you know why I was seeing a psychologist.

With all that written, it had nothing to do with why I shared so many cherry tomatoes with my psychologist's office. While waiting for appointments, I saw so many children there. My psychologist started telling me why those children were there. (I know - breach of confidentiality.) I couldn't help those children in the ways they needed most, but I did get to donate cherry tomatoes that I know they did get.

Added non-gardening info:

"Was seeing a psychologist" Over the years, my appointments were more about me listening to my psychologist talking about her family and life. She thought of me as the son she wanted to have. The last time I saw her was on her 70th birthday. I stopped seeing her because she would have put me in her Will like I was one of her children. That's just not right.
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Old September 18, 2019   #10
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VA clinic. The Vets often are also gardeners if you have plants and low income/sometimes homeless if you have veggies.
Our local food banks take garden produce.
My husband and I take small amounts to co-workers.
Many of my patients also bring in excess and at the end of the week I often bring home boxes from work of the things that we don’t have to enjoy eating, canning or even feeding to our animals.
I have sold plants on Craigslist,mainly just at cost of starting my seeds. I have also posted on Tomatoville and given them away to members from here.
We eat a lot of produce and right now we are pigging out on tomatoes, eggplants and peppers since that’s what we have. During the spring i will eat bags and bags of kale chips.
I do preserve things by canning,dehydrating and freezing.
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Old September 18, 2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQWIBB View Post
Most of the homeless in my area, scoff at food hand-outs because it doesn't get them liquor, sad but true.
When working in the city I would handoff cigarettes and food to some of the familiar homeless folks I never gave them cash, only food.
Have you actually tried to give food to a food bank?our local food banks accept food thankfully from gardeners.
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Old September 18, 2019   #12
brownrexx
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I have dropped off over 150 lbs of tomatoes to the local retirement home this summer. They love them.
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Old September 18, 2019   #13
SueCT
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I bring 50-100 plants into work to give away every year, plus to family and my dentist, lol. I rarely give away the tomatoes other than a few to family because I make sauce and can them. I have a fairly small garden with 16 plants, all heirlooms, and all taste great but not all are great producers. I only get enough for a canner load or a big pot of sauce a few times in a season.
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Old September 28, 2019   #14
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Excess cherries I bring into work and leave at the free table - they always go quickly. I think it works better when you can leave something for people to take if they need - the few times I have tried to give people tomatoes directly they often have their own garden and feel awkward about declining etc.

Our town has started a ‘feed it forward’ food cart for passing on excess produce so I will probably try that too this summer.

Pastes and beefsteaks I usually cook down and freeze. I have canned before but I find it a bit fiddly. Improving my system and will give it another go this year.
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Old September 28, 2019   #15
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Ours go either into bottles as passata (glass fruit juice or Fowlers) depending on volumes required down the track, off to Mum for sauce or to neighbours/friends/family. Glass fruit juice bottles are heated to 110C for about 1/2 hour before filling (basically commercially sterile) and Fowlers (Think Ball for those in the USA) are hot water bath treated.

Salt, I have some HJB seed I can send if you want it
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